Clive,Kitty(actually,Catherine née Raftor)

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Clive,Kitty(actually,Catherine née Raftor)

Clive,Kitty(actually,Catherine née Raftor), famous English actress and soprano; b. London, 1711; d. Twickenham, Dec. 6, 1785. She studied with Henry Carey. As a protégé of Colley Cibber, she was engaged at the Drury Lane Theatre in 1728 and gained renown in ballad opera in his Love in a Riddle or Damon and Phillida (Jan. 1729). She continued to sing there with extraordinary success until 1743. After appearing at Covent Garden (1743–45), she returned to Drury Lane and remained a leading figure there until her retirement in 1769. Although she was most celebrated as a comic actress, she acquitted herself well as a singer of ballad farces and comic songs. She also sang Irish ballads, and even works by Handel, Purcell, and Arne. Handel wrote the role of Dalila in Samson for her, as well as the arioso But lo, the Angel of the Lord in Messiah. Clive herself wrote a comedy, The Rehearsal or Bays in Petticoats (London, March 15, 1750), for which Boyce composed the music.


P. Fitzgerald, The Life of Mrs. C. altogether with her Correspondence (London, 1888).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire